Anderson Lake is a floodplain lake that frequently receives overflow waters from the Illinois River. The lake has 1,134 surface acres with a maximum depth of 6 feet and an average depth of 4 feet. Carlson Lake is a waterfowl management area of 230 surface acres, with a maximum depth of five feet and an average depth of 3 feet. This area is drained in early summer, planted to feed duck and flooded in the fall to attract waterfowl to the area.
The area is a picturesque bottomland setting with timber species dominated by lush plant growth and towering silver maple, cottonwood and willow. A variety of waterfowl abounds in the area. For bird enthusiasts, large numbers of bald eagles can be seen in the winter months and white pelicans viewed during the spring on their migration north.
If coming from the Chicago area or from the southern or eastern part of the state, exit off I-55 at McLean (Route 136 West), located 12 miles south of Bloomington/Normal. Continue west on Route 136 for 48 miles, turn left (south) onto Route 100. Drive an additional 9 miles and the Lake entrance is located on the left side (east) of the highway.
If coming from the western and northwestern parts of Illinois on routes 136 east, 41 south, 78 south, 97 south, or 24 to Route 100 south off of Route 136 turning south onto Route 100, drive an additional 9 miles to the Lake entrance located on the left side (east) of Route 100.
If coming from the southwestern part of Illinois, go north on Route 100 at the Junction of 100/67/103 (west of Beardstown) for 20 miles. The Lake entrance is located on the right hand side (east) of Route 100.
- While groups of 25 or more are welcome and encouraged to use the park's facilities, they are required to register in advance with the site office to avoid crowding or scheduling conflicts.
- At least one responsible adult must accompany each group of 15 minors.
- Pets must be kept on leashes at all times.
- Actions by nature can result in closed roads and other facilities. Please call ahead to the park office before you make your trip.
We hope you enjoy your stay. Remember, take only memories, leave only footprints.